Sonoma County drug agents seized close to 400 marijuana plants from two Santa Rosa homes Wednesday, including one house in a densely built southwest neighborhood near Elsie Allen High School.
The larger of the two growing operations was located near Taylor Mountain on the south edge of town at a home authorities believe was rented solely for that purpose, sheriff's Sgt. Steve Gossett said. But investigators believe both operations were linked, Gossett said.
The seizure is the latest in a string of law enforcement raids over the past several months at residential properties with significant amounts of marijuana growing indoors and out. It is emblematic of a shift from illegal backwoods pot farms to year-round gardens in neighborhoods.
Marijuana Bust In Santa Rosa
One man, Daniel Mulvihill, 29, was arrested Wednesday as he left the Kawana Terrace ranch house around the time members of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force arrived to serve a search warrant.
He was arrested on suspicion of cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale, and was being held at the Sonoma County Jail with bail of $20,000.
The green house, located at the transition to rural pasture land where neighbors keep goats and cattle, contained evidence it was being used to dry and process pot, Gossett said.
Out back, a large green barn with roll-up doors yielded 281 marijuana plants and dozens of 1,000-watt grow lights, as well as venting equipment.
"No one lives here," Gossett said. "This is purely just for growing marijuana."
A second search warrant was served on Barndance Lane north of Elsie Allen High, where 105 plants were found in a bedroom and in the garage, he said.
Keys to the Kawana Terrace house were found in the Barndance Lane house.